Collectivity is an Antidote to Destruction

Group Credit: Stephen Downes (CC*)

There is a good reason why we chose to focus on collectivity and not just community. I understand “collectivity” as a more sociological term that has implication for cultural politics.

Too often “community” is about finding existential wholeness as we live in proximity to others. Personal well-being is necessary, but that’s overdone, especially in Christian circles. What’s not done enough, however, is social well-being.

My goal is to re-emphasize a non-individualistic way of being in the world. The pendulum has swung too far in the direction of me, myself and I, a lone individual fending for identity, dignity, belonging and security. But wait, we are not alone. Our selves are shaped in social contexts. Our identities can broaden and stabilize; we can gain strength in identifying as one member of a group to whose goals and qualities we aspire.

The local gathering can be a holdout from consumerism, a site of organization not subservient to global capital and its symbols. It can be an assembly of citizens that appeals to higher principles of love, justice, community, and social responsibility. This gathering can join in a grassroots struggle against corporate greed, state-supported colonization of Indigenous peoples, and consumer culture’s portrayal of citizens as needy and frightened. This gathering can find common bonds of sharing, engage in rituals that precipitate new energy, provide security in numbers, and remind us of our interdependence.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Geez magazine and welcome your comments and feedback.

Aiden Enns is the editor of Geez magazine. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and can be reached by email at editor [at] geezmagazine [dot] org and by mail at 400 Edmonton Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 2M2.

*Creative Commons photo by Stephen Downes.

Issue 43

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 43, Fall 2016, The Collectivity Issue.

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